Victorian Wildflowers

And now back to my semi-regular series, “Ooh look! Pretty flowers!”

Billy Buttons (Craspedia variabilis).
Wombat State Forest, Blackwood, Victoria, Australia.
November 2012.

November is the month for wildflowers in Victoria.  Allegedly.  Sadly, this year I am suffering terribly from hay fever.  This is an entirely new thing for me and I am not impressed.

As a matter of fact, I was in denial when I finally went into the pharmacy to buy some drugs to deal with “cold symptoms that just wouldn’t go away” (what I said to the pharmacist).  pharmacist asked me what symptoms I wanted to deal with and I replied, “Runny nose, dry, itchy eyes, sore throat.” Pharmacist said, “Sounds like hay fever.” I replied, “I don’t get hay fever.” Pharmacist (bless her patient heart) just smiled and said, “Well, it might be a lingering cold but itchy eyes are usually a dead giveaway that it’s hay fever.” I replied, again (because, obviously, I am obnoxious), “I don’t get hay fever.” In a matter of seconds, however, I realised how obnoxious I was being and apologised. And bought the hay fever tablets and they mostly work.  That was back in late August, can you believe it, and I am still experiencing hay fever symptoms (terrible ones) despite the fact that I. Don’t. Get. Hay Fever.

That, and a smattering of other reasons, have meant that we haven’t ventured into the great outdoors as often as we usually do.  One of the reasons has been Melbourne’s inability to embrace the notion that Spring, getting closer to Summer, means warmer weather.  But Melbourne’s weird yo-yo-ing between wintry temps and more balmy Spring-like weather has been a boon for wildflowers.

On a brief walk in Lerderderg State Park a couple of weekends ago, we saw some delightful specimens.

It’s not super obvious, but the ground is covered in wildflowers (the yellow bits).
Mineral Springs Reserve, Blackwood, Victoria.
November 2012.

Spotted Sun Orchid (Thylemitra ixioides).
Lerderderg State Park, Victoria.
November 2012.

One of the things I regularly forget about wildflowers is how eensy teensy they are.  The above blue beauty was but slightly larger than 1cm in diameter.  I bear much affection for this photograph. In addition to successfully capturing the flower, the memory of the capture brings a grin to my face.

I was crouched low, slightly off the walking track, and manipulating the settings on my camera to get this picture right.  A 4WD came carousing along the nearby dirt path and out of it tumbled some boisterous boys.  My partner greeted them but I was intent on getting my picture, so ignored them.  Then I stood up, smiled at the strangers and moved on.  One of the boys was about 7(-ish) years old.  He came bundling along to where I’d been crouched and had a good old look around.  I hoped, as I walked on, that he did not crush too many of the tiny orchids.  A few steps away, I heard him call out to his father, “Beautiful flowers! Dad! She was looking at this beautiful flower! Come look!”

Later, when we had paused beside the river for a snack, Dad and Boys caught up with us.  Botanist-to-be bounced up to me and said, “I saw that flower you were taking a photo of. It was beautiful.”  What an awesome kid.

Twining fringed lily (Thysantus patersonii).
Lerderderg State Park, Blackwood, Victoria.
November 2012.

This picture gives you a good sense of the size of these lovely lilies.  That’s a blade of native grass the flower is twining around. The flower itself is about 1cm across. And they’re just delightful.

But I must say my favourite flowers are the daisy like ones.  They’re just so cheerful.

Paper Daisy (but not certain of this ID)
Lerderderg State Park, Victoria.
November 2012.

Australian wildflowers don’t give off pollen. They aren’t the cause of my hay fever. No way.

 

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6 Comments

  1. That’s a good flower patrol you did! I’ve seen the fringed lily on walks before, but not the orchid. That’s a good find! Then again, I’ve probably passed about a million in the past and just not known what they were! You’ve reminded me I should go to Lerderderg again over summer. It’s quite close to where I live, but for some reason I always neglect it…

    Hayfever? I’m the expert as a long time sufferer! In my case, after trying a million different medications over the years I’ve found the ideal tablet for me. Aerius tablets are fearsomely effective for me! One of those tiny tablets and I’m fixed for the day 🙂

    Reply

    1. I am often tempted to point these little gems out to fellow walkers (aka strangers) on the trail, but I’m not sure my delighted intervention will always be well received.

      Lerderderg is great – such a lovely wilderness so near Melbourne. With all the washed out tracks, it’s even quite adventurous!

      Bah hayfever. I am very unimpressed.

      Reply

  2. Well done in adding to the inspiration of the botanist-to-be! Having (tried to) photograph tiny wildflowers with constant breezes, I can appreciate the clarity and beauty of your images. You’ve managed to capture their alluring colors even in the sun. Gorgeous.

    Reply

    1. Well, Anne, I made this post thinking of you 🙂 After all my diversions, you are still with me. You deserve more flower posts. I am half-heartedly joining a weekly photo challenge to see if that photo-mojo will come back!

      Reply

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